What is a Chatbot?
No need to overcomplicate the matter, a chatbot is an artificial intelligence or a computer program which interacts with a user through the form of text or audio. The technology is still in its beginning phase, however, it has exceeded all expectations. For example, let’s say you are looking for a new charger for your digital camera. You could visit a website, scroll through 10 to 20 pages, fill out your shipping and payment information, etc. However, if you had a bot, you could simply tell it, “Order me a new charger for my Nikon D3500.” The bot will then guide you through the options and the place your order. Behind the scenes, the bot is guiding you through a number of relative questions in order to collect crucial information to understand you.
Why should I use a Chatbot?
Ultimately bots help consumers find solutions no matter what app they are using, whether it’s Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, WeChat or Viber. They are a result of a shift in consumer behaviour. For instance, a consumer may be conducting research on a product they wish to buy, they want this information as quickly as possible and they are increasingly turning to voice search technology. Inboxes contain more and more spam, which means consumers are switching to social media and are following their preferred brands. Nowadays consumers have the power to opt-out, block and unfollow whatever brand they have an issue with. However, if you are able to supply quality information on the platforms where consumers are spending their time, everything changes. Consumers main priority is having a direct link between their issue and solution.
Building a Bot
Building a bot is not a technical challenge, it is a conversational one. Your job is to understand the interactions your customers are already having with your brand. The task is to provide a service that people want to use. The most capable bots take the small decisions consumers experience and see the opportunity to help them. Whether it is updating shipping information for an order or adjusting a reservation, bots offer solutions when consumers need it most.
Bots are not meant to do it all, instead, you want to pick one single function and do it extremely well. There are two categories of bots: informational and utility. Informational bots provide consumers with a new format in order to consume information. Utility bots will solve a consumer’s issue whatever it may be. 47% of shoppers are open to the idea of purchasing items from a bot, according to a recent HubSpot Research study. Utility bots can do a lot more than making purchases – they can also book meetings, scan your emails and notify you of payment subscriptions you may have forgotten about.
Can Chatbots strengthen your relationship with customers?
Bots are the new way of communicating with consumers and you should consider how this new technology could help grow your business. Bots are created to help, and it allows brands and consumers to have one-on-one conversations with one another for the first time. This means brands will have a better understanding of their customers intent, which can only be a good thing. It is enabling brands to build quality relationships with their customers and this means customers can begin to trust brands again. This is every marketer’s dream. If we determine the correct course of action, bots may be the best thing to happen to marketing yet.